ATLANTA — Tyler Perry is addressing some of the public’s fears and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine during a news special.
The media mogul sat down with some of Georgia's top medical experts for a half-hour program, “COVID-19 Vaccine and the Black Community: A Tyler Perry Special,” for BET.
The show, set to premiere on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 9PM ET/PT on BET and BET Her, will tackle the hard-hitting questions to help the Black community gain insight into the recent rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
During the program, Perry sat down with top medical experts Carlos del Rio, MD Executive Associate Dean, Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System, and Kimberly Dyan Manning, MD Professor of Medicine at Grady Health System.
Grady, located in Atlanta, is one of the nation’s leading academic safety net health systems, known for its trauma, stroke and burn care. Grady is also a leading research site and was proud to be part of the Moderna vaccine trials.
"The idea of Grady was, we would approach Tyler Perry, because he is an opinion leader, because we know key opinion leaders are very important," del Rio told 11Alive.
The plan, he said, was to capture the moment the media mogul received the vaccine.
"He said, 'you know this is not just about a photo. This is about educating the community,'" del Rio recounted.
One-in-three African-Americans are hesitant to get the vaccine, according to Kaiser. Even Perry had to be educated on the vaccine, before agreeing to take it. Del Rio said they all hope it will change some minds in the Black community about the vaccine. But he added it's also about making sure communities of color have access to the vaccine, too.
"We need to get out to the community," he said. "We need to set up vaccination sites in African American churches in places where the community hang out//We need to go to the community, not want the community to get to us."
According to BET, the half-hour special provides helpful and factual information for viewers looking to protect themselves and their families from this unprecedented crisis.
Perry also served at the executive producer of the program.
Perry is a self-made visionary who has created 22 feature films, over 20 stage plays, 13 television shows, and two New York Times bestselling books.